Adopting advanced technology, Curtis Agency and E-Reads have teamed up to locate and take down pirated files of their authors’ books.
The system, developed by Muso TNT, protects against files uploaded by pirates to filesharing sites like rapidshare and megaupload. Files on these websites show up on Google search results and are therefore accessible to users who might otherwise purchase the files through legitimate channels.
The Size of the Problem
Though we have often contended that piracy is the number one threat to the e-book industry (see A Bootleg E-Book Bazaar Operates in Plain Sight), skeptics may not be aware of the extent of the problem. One company, torrentfreak, boasted that “The Internet is the largest copying machine ever invented,” and in 2011 ranked fiesharing sites according to traffic in the month of July 2011. The first figure represents unique monthly visitors, the second monthly pageviews:
1 4shared Cyberlocker 55,000,000/ 2,500,000,000
2 Megaupload Cyberlocker 37,000,000/ 400,000,000
3 Mediafire Cyberlocker 34,000,000 /330,000,000
4 Filestube Meta-search 34,000,000/ 280,000,000
5 Rapidshare Cyberlocker 23,000,000/ 280,000,000
6 The Pirate Bay Torrent index 23,000,000 /650,000,000
7 Fileserve Cyberlocker 19,000,000 /190,000,000
8 Hotfile Cyberlocker 16,000,000 /110,000,000
9 Torrentz.eu Meta-search 15,000,000/ 340,000,000
10 Depositfiles Cyberlocker 14,000,000/ 110,000,000
How Muso TNT Works.
Using the Muso technology, legitimate content providers authorize the antipiracy service to launch search engine “spiders” to crawl over the Internet and detect unauthorized files. A significant feature is that the search criterion is by author, not by title. As the spiders locate pirated files, they store the results on a password-protected login page for review.
The author, publisher or agent may view the files to confirm that they are not authorized. Then the user clicks authorization for Muso to issue, to fileshare site administrators, batch takedown emails that are preformatted to adhere to Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice and takedown procedures. Within hours the files are taken down automatically. In the event you send a takedown notice for a file to which you do not have the rights, the uploader has 14 days to dispute your action.
We recently tested the program. “The results exceeded our wildest dreams,” says technical director Anthony Damasco. “On Friday afternoon we identified some 3500 illegally shared files of titles by our authors and ordered them removed. It took me 45 minutes. By Monday just about every one of them had been taken down.”
The program does not cover every type of piracy but filesharing is one of the most commonplace, widespread and persistent.
The two companies have begun taking down unauthorized files of clients and “We will also extend, at no charge, antipiracy coverage to all new clients of both firms,” said CEO Richard Curtis. Authors, agents and publishers interested in Muso’s services may enroll by signing up below. Enrollment with Muso is $15.00 per month per author. In the event that more take-downs are needed, Muso offers them at higher rates. Full disclosure: E-Reads receives a modest fee for referrals.